Compliance and Enforcement Annual Results FY2008:
Important Environmental Problems/National Priorities:
FY2008 Annual Results Topics
Annual Results for
National Enforcement Priorities
Environmental impacts caused by the mineral processing and mining sectors are significant. The mineral processing sector and mining sectors cumulatively generate larger volumes of wastes that are corrosive and/or contain toxic metals than any other industrial sector. Over the past decade, EPA has found that many of the facilities that manage these wastes, due either to noncompliance with state or federal environmental requirements or legally permissible waste management practices, have contaminated groundwater, surface water, soil, and sediment. Addressing mineral processing is one of EPA’s national priority areas for enforcement.
|Fiscal Year||Estimated Hazardous Waste Treated, Minimized or Properly Disposed
|Estimated Investments in Pollution Control
|FY 2007||Not Calculated||$60 million||$88,000|
|FY 2008||1,751 million||$217 million||$0|
*Estimated Hazardous Waste Treated, Minimized or Properly Disposed is an estimate of the pounds of pollutants reduced, treated, or eliminated during the first year after a facility returns to compliance.
** Estimated Investments in Pollution Control is an estimate of the defendant’s cost to comply with consent decrees through the installation of appropriate pollutant controls. The value for FY 2007 is adjusted for inflation using the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics calculator.
*** Civil Penalties are penalties assessed, not collected. The value for FY 2007 is also adjusted for inflation.
- EPA targeted enforcement actions on improper waste management at phosphoric acid and other mineral processing facilities, addressing an estimated 1,751 million pounds of hazardous waste.
- The pollutants reduced by these enforcement actions are ammonia and/or phosphorus , fluoride, sulfate, 2,4-dinitrotoluene and metals.
- In FY08, EPA issued an Imminent and Substantial Endangerment Order to Agrifos Fertilizer and ExxonMobil, the past owner/operator of the Agrifos facility in Texas. An overflow at the facility released approximately 54 million gallons of wastewater between August 16 and September 7, 2007. The Order requires Agrifos and ExxonMobil to build treatment and disposal facilities onsite to reduce the amount of hazardous waste, repair and strengthen the impoundment, and increase the capacity of the impoundment to handle severe storms. The companies will be treating and/or disposing an estimated 1.751 billion pounds per year of hazardous waste. Closure and remediation will take 20 to 30 years. Improved water management practices by Agrifos under the Order enabled the impoundment to withstand Hurricane Ike with no damage, and prevented another catastrophic release of hazardous wastewater that would have further threatened the environmental integrity of the Cotton Patch Bayou and the Houston Ship Channel.